A disaster is a natural or man-made hazard that has come to fruition, resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. A disaster can be ostensively defined as any tragic event with great loss stemming from events such as earthquakes, floods, catastrophic accidents, fires, or explosions.
In contemporary academia, disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed risk. These risks are the product of hazards and vulnerability. Hazards that strike in areas with low vulnerability are not considered a disaster, as is the case in uninhabited regions.
Developing countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits – more than 95 percent of all deaths caused by disasters occur in developing countries and underdeveloped countries, and losses due to natural disasters are 20 times greater (as a percentage of GDP) in developing countries than in industrialized countries.